EVgo breaks ground on DC fast-charging station prepared for up to 350 kW


EVgo DC fast-charging site in Baker, California

EVgo DC fast-charging site in Baker, California

Enlarge Photo

Longer-range electric cars will add flexibility for drivers, but they will also require changes to charging infrastructure.

More powerful DC fast-charging stations will be needed in order to charge cars with larger-capacity battery packs in a reasonable amount of time.

The EVgo charging network is taking a step in that direction with a new charging site equipped for much higher-rate charging than is currently available.

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Located in Baker, California, the site is capable of offering charging at up to 350 kilowatts in the future.

That represents a major leap over the current 50-kW average, and is one example of how charging networks are planning for a future that requires more powerful public charging stations.

EVgo recent broke ground on the Baker site, and hopes to have the project completed by June 2017.

EVgo DC fast-charging site in Baker, California

EVgo DC fast-charging site in Baker, California

Enlarge Photo
Baker was chosen because of its convenient location on a route between Southern California and Las Vegas.

The site will include four DC fast-charging stations prepared for charging at up to 350 kW, and can accommodate up to eight additional stations in the future.

All stations at the site will be compatible with the CHAdeMO and Combined Charging Standard (CCS) protocols.

ALSO SEE: Porsche's 800-Volt fast charging for electric cars: why it matters

These are the protocols used by the majority of major automakers, with Japanese and Korean firms tending to prefer CHAdeMO, and U.S. and German automakers following CCS.

Tesla uses its own Supercharger standard for DC fast charging, which is designed to run at up to 150 kW.

Preparing the Baker site for charging at up to 350 kW leaves plenty of room for future upgrades.

EVgo DC fast-charging site in Baker, California

EVgo DC fast-charging site in Baker, California

Enlarge Photo
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV—currently the only non-Tesla electric car on sale with a range of more than 200 miles—is equipped to charge at up to 80 kW.

The groups behind the CHAdeMO and CCS protocols have discussed plans for stations that operate at 150 kW.

Earlier this year, the CHAdeMO Association General Assembly announced an amendment to technical protocols that would account for higher-power charging, and expects 150-kW stations to come online in 2017.

MORE: Audi e-Tron Electric Car To Offer 150-kW Quick Charging Sites (Nov 2015)

Participants in the Society of Automotive Engineers working group for CCS have also indicated a goal of 150-kW charging.

Two CCS subscribers—Audi and Porsche—have also discussed plans for networks of 150-kW DC fast-charging stations to support their upcoming electric cars.

The Audi e-tron SUV will launch in 2018, and Porsche has said a production version of the Mission E sedan concept from the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show will enter production by the end of the decade.

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